A child’s first visit to the dentist should be positive and fun. Our team has worked with many children and we know how to create a fun, enjoyable visit. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children should visit the dentist by their first birthday. It is important that your child's baby (primary) teeth receive proper dental care and benefit from proper oral hygiene habits right from the beginning.
Your child's teeth actually start developing before birth. Between 6 to 12 months of age, the first baby (primary) teeth will begin to push through the gums. The lower central incisors are first, then the upper central incisors. During this time, your child's gums may feel tender and sore. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend that you soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth across them. You may also choose to make use of a teething ring. The remainder of the baby (primary) teeth will erupt by the age of three up to a total of 20 teeth.Your child's primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood, and their permanent teeth begin erupting at age six, the first molars and lower central incisors being first, and continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth, 32 including wisdom teeth.
The importance of maintaining Baby(primary) teeth healthy
The baby (primary) teeth play a crucial role in dental development. Without them, a child cannot chew food properly to maintain good nutrition and has difficulty speaking clearly. The self-image that healthy teeth give a child is immeasurable. Primary teeth are vital to development of the jaws and for guiding the permanent teeth into place when they replace the primary teeth around age 6. Since primary teeth guide the permanent teeth into place, infants with missing primary teeth or infants who prematurely lose primary teeth may require a space maintainer, a device used to hold the natural space open. Without a maintainer, the teeth can tilt toward the empty space and cause permanent teeth to come in crooked.
learning healthy Oral hygiene habits
The way your child cares for his/her primary teeth plays a critical role in how he/she treats the permanent teeth. Children and adults are equally susceptible to plaque and gum problems—hence, the need for regular care and dental check-ups.Sugary foods and liquids can attack a new tooth, so take care that your child brushes after feeding or eating. We recommend brushing four times a day for optimal oral hygiene: after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, and at bedtime.Brushing can be fun, and your child should brush as soon as the first tooth arrives. When a baby's tooth erupts, parents should brush the tooth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. For children younger than two, do not use fluoride toothpaste unless advised to do so by your dentist or other healthcare professional. We suggest reviewing proper tooth brushing procedures with your child. Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits, and your doctor will discuss with you the right time to start flossing. If you notice signs of decay, contact your dentist immediately.
The teeth, bones and soft tissue of the mouth require a healthy, well-balanced diet. A variety of foods from the five food groups helps minimize (and avoid) cavities and other dental problems. Most snacks that children eat cause cavities, so children should only receive healthy foods like vegetables, low-fat yogurt and cheeses, which promote strong teeth.
preventing Baby bottle tooth decay
While your baby is teething, it is important to monitor the teeth for signs of baby bottle decay. Examine the teeth, especially on the inside or the tongue side, every two weeks for dull spots (whiter than the tooth surface) or lines. A bottle containing anything other than water and left in an infant’s mouth while sleeping can cause decay. This happens because sugar in the liquid mixes with bacteria in dental plaque, forming acids that attack the tooth enamel. Each time a child drinks liquids containing sugar, acids attack the teeth for about 20 minutes. When awake, saliva carries away the liquid. During sleep, the saliva flow significantly decreases and liquids pool around the child’s teeth for long periods, covering the teeth in acids.Tooth decay in infants can be minimized or totally prevented by not allowing sleeping infants to breast or bottle-feed. Infants that need a bottle to comfortably fall asleep should be given a water-filled bottle or a pacifier. Our office is dedicated to fighting baby bottle tooth decay. Let us know if you notice any signs of decay or anything unusual in your child’s mouth.
Tooth decay is caused by sugars left in your mouth that turn into an acid, which can break down your teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason; many children and adolescents do not practice regular, good oral hygiene habits. Proper brushing and flossing routines combined with regular dental visits help keep tooth decay away.Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth their strongest.
While brushing and flossing regularly is a great way to keep teeth clean and free from plaque, there are grooves and pits on the surface of some teeth that cannot be reached through conventional methods. Food particles and plaque collect in these grooves and pits, increasing the chance of decay. Sealants give your teeth extra protection against decay and help prevent cavities. Dental sealants are a plastic resin that bonds and hardens in the deep grooves on your teeth. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth and less likely to harbor plaque.Tooth sealants can be applied quickly and easily protecting tooth enamel from decay in just one visit. Sealants last from three to five years, but it is fairly common to see adults with sealants still intact from their childhood. A dental sealant only provides protection when it is fully intact, so if your sealants come off, let your dentist know, and schedule an appointment for your teeth to be re-sealed.
Tooth sealants are also recommended because they "seal" the deep grooves in your child's teeth, preventing decay from forming in these hard-to-reach areas. Sealants last for several years, but will be monitored at your child's regular checkups.
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